Although our associate population is diverse, we recognize a need for more inclusion to fully engage all our associates and benefit from their perspectives.
Three years ago, Perdue Farms formed an Inclusion Council, reporting to the Executive Team. While several diversity initiatives have been implemented by Perdue Farms, one successful action that models our CEO's pledge is that Day is the Executive Sponsor of the Perdue Inclusion Council and Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) such as the Generations group, the Perdue Organization for Women, and new in 2017, the Veteran's Associate Resource Group. Following our sponsorship of the 2017 & 2018 LGBTQ+ Coalition of the Lower Eastern Shore and the local PFLAG organization's Rainbow Fun Run and Walk in Salisbury, MD (Perdue corporate headquarters' hometown), Perdue plans to launch an ARG for our LGBTQ+ community., In 2017, Perdue established the Office of Diversity and named its first Chief Diversity Officer, who reports to the CEO, to further advance its commitment to create a workplace that is both diverse and inclusive. Since September 2017, Inclusion Councils have begun at 20 of our plant locations. In June 2018, The Office of Diversity and Inclusion Council held an inaugural D&I Forum; Unconscious Bias training was conducted for Sr. Director level and above with keynote speaker Marley Dias, an American activist that launched a campaign called #1 000BlackGirlBooks in November 2015, when she was in sixth grade.
Events hosted by the Inclusion Council and ARGs, through the Perdue Organization for Women, include breakfast and lunch dates that have been sponsored for the Women's Circle at Salisbury University. Additionally, Perdue funded the Ruby Sponsorship of Network of Executive Women. The Veteran's Associate Resource Group has held numerous community events and internal events to create awareness of Perdue's commitment and celebration of Perdue veterans' heritage of service - within Perdue, in our communities, and with our consumers. These initiatives speak to the pledge of our CEO to both internal and external actions for the recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse talent.
Diversity can be measured by the numbers, but inclusion is a measure of our culture. An inclusive workplace empowers all associates to share the unique insights that match our external stakeholders. We’re also engaging our associates in creating an inclusive environment that will help us make our management level and above more representative of our diverse population. Teamwork has long been one of our company Values, with the belief that we work together to accomplish something greater than one could alone. That ‘together’ will come from an inclusive workplace.